The most reliable "student cars" have been revealed by a warranty company, and the winner is not the car you would expect.

As university students head back to their busy lives working, sleeping, drinking or whatever it is they are up to, Warranty Direct has revealed that the most reliable car they could be biffing around in is a Peugeot 107.

The firm calculates a Reliability Index Score (RIS), based on frequency of problems and average costs to fix them. A lower score represents a better combination of these factors.

The 2005-2014 Peugeot 107 came top out of the list of small cars that students are most likely to buy, with an RIS of just four. The pre-tournament favourite was nudged into second, with the 2008-2015 Honda Jazz scoring five.

A close third was the 2002-2010 Nissan Micra with an RIS of six. Then came the Peugeot 1007 on eight, the old Mazda 2 with 10 and the previous generation Fiat Panda with 12.

The 107 and its sister car, the Citroen C1, placed highly after recording not a single engine failure in any of the cars covered by Warranty Direct.

The Jazz is the most practical of the cars on the list, making it a strong favourite for students who want to pack in everything they own without causing their car to give up the ghost.

David Gerrans, managing director at Warranty Direct, said: "As students from across the UK prepare to take the next step in their education and newfound independence, choosing a reliable car to head to university with will no doubt remove some of the worry.

"Stretching the budget is historically tricky for students with so many things to account for. However, selecting the right car will ensure undergraduates arrive at their new university digs without a hitch - or a hole in their bank account before the term has even started."